National Coalition Institute
Blue Ribbon
October 16, 2023

Blue Ribbon Coalition

Become a Blue Ribbon Coalition!

Becoming a Blue Ribbon Coalition can become a platform to obtain local and national recognition, used in other grant applications, and to pursue other funding agreements. The Blue Ribbon Coalition recognition showcases the community partners involved in coalition’s success!
The Blue Ribbon Coalitions are able to take what they’ve learned at the National Coalition Academy and apply it to their coalition’s work. They are recognized for doing an exceptional job updating and utilizing their coalition products in order to set themselves up for community success. In addition, they have been recognized by members of the U.S. House of Representatives and by the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

 | Application Phases | Previous Winners

2023 Blue Ribbon Application

Application Review in Progress

National Coalition Institute (NCI) and CADCA’s Blue Ribbon Application process recognizes coalitions that achieve measurable success in community-level substance misuse related outcomes by implementing a comprehensive and feasible plan guided by local data. Applicants begin a rigorous two-phase application process requiring them to clearly communicate their story and contribution to community-level outcomes. Based on the substance misuse-related outcomes achieved, they can win the prestigious Blue Ribbon Awards in one of the following categories:

Coalition in Focus: Short-term Outcomes
Coalition of Excellence: Intermediate Outcomes
Coalition of the Year: Long-term Outcomes
Coalitions that advance as finalists are recognized as **Blue Ribbon Coalitions**. The National Coalition Institute (NCI) and CADCA Blue Ribbon Coalitions are able to take what they’ve learned at the National Coalition Academy and apply it to their coalition’s work. They are recognized for doing an exceptional job updating and utilizing their coalition products in order to set themselves up for community success. In addition, they have been recognized by members of the U.S. House of Representatives and by the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Becoming a Blue Ribbon Coalition can become a platform to obtain local and national recognition, used in other grant applications, and to pursue other funding agreements. A great demonstration of using the Blue Ribbon Coalition name is Beech Grove Comprehensive Drug Free Coalition. They brought in the Mayor of Beech Grove and General Price from CADCA to celebrate the Blue Ribbon Coalition recognition and showcase the community partners involved in their coalition’s success!

group of people standing

**Blue Ribbon Coalition is a two-year recognition. Once two years have passed, coalitions can re-earn their recognition status through the Blue Ribbon Application process. Coalitions who re-apply before the two years are expired and achieve Blue Ribbon Coalition will have their two-year status restarted.

2023 Blue Ribbon Application Timeline

Announces Blue Ribbon Application Process

Apr. 4, 2023
Phase I applicant informational webinar (must pre-register before webinar date)Apr. 18, 2023 @1pm
Phase I applications due to NCI  Jun. 30, 2023
Phase I applications reviewed by NCI trainersJul. 3 – Aug. 18, 2023
NCI notifies finalists and announce Blue Ribbon CoalitionsWeek of Aug. 21, 2023
Phase I finalists technical assistance providedAug. 21 – Sept. 22, 2023
Phase II applications due to NCISept. 22, 2023  
Phase II applications reviewed by NCI TrainersSept. 25 – Oct. 27, 2023
Phase II winners notified!Week of Oct. 30, 2023
Winners contacted regarding 2024 National Leadership ForumWeek of Oct. 30, 2023
Blue Ribbon Coalitions Awards and present at the 2024 National Leadership Forum Ideas Fair Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, 2024   
Phase II winners present a session at the 2024 National Leadership ForumJan. 29 – Feb. 1, 2024
Phase II winners celebrated at National Leadership Forum Awards LuncheonFeb. 1, 2024

For any questions, email blueribbon@cadca.org

This material is based upon work supported by the Office of National Drug Control Policy under Grant No. G2299ONDCP08A. Opinions and points of view expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of, or a position endorsed is endorsed by, the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Application Phases

The 2023 Blue Ribbon Application may already be in progress, but it’s never too early to prepare for 2024!

Phase I  
Coalitions select one substance use issue which they helped address and would like to highlight in this process. They show the comprehensive steps they have taken to reach short, intermediate, or long-term outcomes.  This is presented through 6 products that are used and developed by coalitions to address their community’s specific needs.

  • Community Assessment
  • Logic Model
  • Strategic and Action Plan
  • Evaluation Plan
  • Evaluation Communication Plan
  • Sustainability Plan

Phase II  
Coalition’s chosen to move on to phase II will receive personal technical assistance to further strengthen their application.  They transform their work and present it in the form of a 1) a PowerPoint with an overview of the coalition’s community, work and data to support the outcomes and 2) an infographic to illustrate their community-level outcomes.

2024 General Timeline 

Announces Blue Ribbon Application ProcessApril 2024
Phase I applicant informational webinarApril  2024
Phase I applications due to NCI/CADCAJune 2024
Phase II applications due to NCI/CADCASeptember 2024
Winners notified!November 2024
Winners present at the 2024 National Leadership Forum Ideas FairFebruary 2025
Winners announced at National Leadership Forum Awards LuncheonFebruary 2025

Coalition Product Support

If you would like additional assistance and feedback on your coalition products, please reach out to the Coalition Development Support team at training@cadca.org or book an appointment with them.

For any questions, email blueribbon@cadca.org.

Previous winners

Blue Ribbon Coalitions

The Blue Ribbon Coalition recognition began in 2021 as a way to recognize high performing coalitions that do an exceptional job creating a foundation for their work by updating and utilizing their coalition products. It a two-year recognition that opens new doors for coalitions to share their work and become a role model in the prevention field.   Over the past two years, we’ve recognized 34 coalitions as Blue Ribbon Coalitions! Get to know our winnersand how they were able to achieve positive, long-lasting changes in their communities.

Previous Winners

Learn about our 2022 Got Outcomes! winners and how they were able to achieve positive, long-lasting changes in their communities.